The key to enjoying a heart healthy diet includes choosing a variety of healthy food options and knowing the correct healthy portion.
Here are tips to a heart healthy diet:
Tip 1: Controlling your portions – Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and veggies, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed, or fast foods.
Tip 2: Keep track of the number of servings you eat – A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements, such as cups, ounces, or pieces. You may need to use measuring cups, spoons, or a scale for accuracy.
Tip 3: Choose fruits and veggies – Fruits and veggies are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Fruits and veggies are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Make sure to choose fresh or frozen, low-sodium canned veggies, and canned fruit packed in juice or water.
Tip 4: Choose whole grains – Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart healthy diet by making simple substitutions, such as whole-wheat flour instead of white flour or whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
Tip 5: Limit how much saturated and trans fats you eat – You can trim fat off your meat or choose lean meats with less than 10% fat. You can also add less butter, margarine, and shortening when cooking.
Tip 6: Include a variety of protein – Choose lean meat, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products.
Tip 7: Choose lower sodium options – Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart healthy diet. You should not consume anymore than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
If you incorporate these tips into your life, you’ll find that heart healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple food substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind and shape up your diet as well as your waistline.